In-form Liverpool travel to Spain for a crucial Champions League encounter against Real Madrid as they aim to bring back a first-leg advantage to Anfield.
The UEFA Champions League returns to the fold with a set of intriguing quarterfinal matches this week as Real Madrid take on Liverpool at the Estadio Alfredo di Stefano on Tuesday in one of four ties. The two teams have been ravaged by injuries this season and will need to make a statement in this game.
Jurgen Klopp’s men will look to capitalize on a depleted defence for Tuesday’s hosts as they have Dani Carvajal and Sergio Ramos both missing. However, the German manager himself has numerous injuries woes at the back and must cope with the inexperience in his backline too. He is expected to field a side similar to the one which beat Arsenal at the weekend.
Alisson Becker will function in between the sticks for the Merseyside giants after earning a deserved clean sheet versus the Gunners in his last outing. Nathaniel Phillips will continue to feature alongside Ozan Kabak at the heart of Klopp’s defence as they focus on stopping the home team from finding the back of the net during the 90 minutes.
Trent Alexander-Arnold produced one of his best displays of this campaign last Saturday, so he will be a nailed-on starter at right-back while Andrew Robertson fills in on the other flank as the left-back. Klopp will ask both of them to pick and choose their moments to join in on the attack as they cannot afford to give the opposition too much space out on the wide areas.
Fabinho will once again anchor the Liverpool midfield as he looks to disrupt Los Blancos’ rhythm in the centre of the park. Both Georginio Wijnaldum and Thiago Alcantara will play just ahead of the Brazil international as the box to box midfielders. All three of them will be responsible for feeding some decent passes to the front players up top.
Mohamed Salah will continue to play as the right-sided winger following a goal-scoring display against Arsenal in his last appearance. Sadio Mane is expected to get the nod to operate down the left flank, while Diogo Jota gets a chance to lead the line for the Merseyside giants in the final third. The Portuguese striker has been in red-hot form for both club and country of late, so Klopp will be inclined to start him ahead of Roberto Firmino, who will drop to the bench.